South Africa


Government working on new cannabis laws for South Africa

The Department of Social Development says that it is in the process of developing new legislation around the possession and use of cannabis in South Africa.

In a ‘national drug master plan‘ published on Thursday (25 June), the department said that the new rules would be in line with the September 2018 Constitutional Court ruling on private use.


Marijuana: Africa could be the next giant cannabis grower in the world

South Africa is optimistic that it can bring cannabis to produce a million-dollar business as the countries fights for its legality.

Africa is getting ready to take over the world of cannabis farming as its several countries fight for the legality of the leaf drug.  For years, Africa had domesticated cannabis for a lot of reasons.

Smoking pots have been traced back to the 14th-century pipes. Ethiopian pipes are among the most common sources of cannabis trackings. However, with the church’s accession in colonial times, cannabis was banned.


Updates on laws around cannabis cultivation in South Africa

Currently, South Africa is one of only three African countries that permit the cultivation of medical cannabis, notes Darryl Bernstein, partner and head of dispute resolution, and Rui Lopes, associate, dispute resolution, Baker McKenzie Johannesburg.

In South Africa, a licence for cannabis production can be obtained, but the processes for its provision are stringent, Baker McKenzie said.

Further recent legal developments in the country point to a growing attempt to harness the plant’s potential and ensure adequate control of the cultivation and sale of cannabis products.

Below, Bernstein and Lopes navigate through the current cannabis legislation in South Africa.


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South Africa Introduces Some of the Most Lax Laws on Cannabis Yet

After years of banning cannabis in all forms, South Africa is quickly jumping through hoops to become one of the more lenient countries when it comes to using cannabis, and a likely massive competitor in the world hemp growing market.


Coming cannabis bill is good signal for South African hemp

While South African officials have said hemp may be approved as an agricultural crop as soon as May this year, some stakeholders remain skeptical of the government’s plans, questioning proposed allowable THC levels and a strategy to rely on imported seeds critics say are ill-suited to the South African environment.

Nomakhosazana Meth, a member of the Executive Council of the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, said recently that a cannabis bill would be brought to parliament as soon as April this year, with hemp to be classified as an agricultural crop the following month. She noted that the gap between the cannabis industry and the government is “finally closing.”


Countries Around the World Make Moves to Decriminalize Cannabis

In late 2019, a ruling by Italy's highest court struck down the prohibition against growing marijuana at home, ending a long legal dispute over that issue.

The court ruled that “at home, small-scale cultivation activities are to be considered excluded from the application of the penal code,” according to the New York Times.


South Africa approves country’s first cannabis college

South Africa is adding its name to the list of countries ready to provide residents with higher education.

The Eastern Cape’s Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform has been given the green light for the creation and development of a cannabis college that will train wannabe weed workers to cultivate and distribute the drug.

The facility is set to break ground in the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality in Lusisiki, thanks to the location’s excellent environmental conditions for growing the crop.

Local authorities hope that the college will provide residents of the struggling province with job opportunities and revitalize the local economy.


Cannabis in South Africa: the duplicity of colonial authorities

The history of cannabis in South Africa contains two particular trajectories that were sometimes in direct contradiction with one another.

The one, the 100-year-old effort to prohibit its use. The other, a history of colonial governments and administrators trying to develop cannabis in order to make money out of it.

These two paths began to develop in earnest after 1916.


Black South African Farmers Struggle To Enter Burgeoning Cannabis Market

Stacks of bright green cannabis plants, freshly harvested from nearby hothouses, are expertly sorted on a lab table by workers wearing hygienic gloves and caps who snip the leaves and buds and put them in bins for further processing.

Druid’s Garden in Hennops, about 20 miles north of Johannesburg, is a licensed farm which conducts research, legally produces cannabis and other traditional medicinal products for sale in South Africa and international markets.


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